Constructed around 1930 for Harold Shelnutt, Sunnydale is a Rustic revival-style restaurant and entertainment building located in the small town of Tryon in southern Polk County, North Carolina.
Shelnutt operated Sunnydale as a restaurant and entertainment venue, hosting dinners, dances and theatrical performances. In 1941, Ernest A. Kerhulas purchased Sunnydale and operated it as a popular eating establishment for more than thirty years. The comfortable atmosphere of Sunnydale’s log construction, open plan, and large stone fireplace made it a popular gathering place for dining, as well as the many social and civic gatherings hosted there. Sunnydale is an intact example of the Rustic Revival style of architecture, which enjoyed extensive popularity in the mountainous region of western North Carolina during the early 20th century. The log construction, exposed structure, and natural materials combine past building traditions, local materials, and modern functionality. The Rustic Revival style in North Carolina owes a debt to the natural and rustic style of construction and engineering work developed from the National Park Service’s design standards for national parks, which emphasized a close harmony of built structures and natural environment.
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